Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If I Perish

Esther 4

I have been sitting here staring at the computer screen wondering how to start writing.  I can have trouble starting out, but usually it is because there is too much in my head and I'm having trouble clearing it.  Today, it seems as if it was blank.  The funny thing is, I suddenly realized that not knowing how to start fit in with how I wanted to write more on the story found in Esther 4.  Yesterday, I looked at how Mordecai didn't know what to do at first except to fast and mourn and wail loudly.  Please look up Esther 4 and read the entire chapter.

As I was getting ready to dig into Esther 4, I got stuck on verse 2:  "But he only went as far as the king's gate because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it."  That may not sound like a verse full of epiphany; however, I was stuck because it seemed interesting that there was actually a rule that no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed in the king's gate.  It made me think that there must have been times when people who were clothed in sackcloth wanted attention from royalty and a rule was made against it.  When I mentioned it to my husband, he reminded me of the fact that the kings during this period really didn't want to hear (or see) people's problems and made it so that no one with a problem could come in.  In fact, the rule was that you couldn't see the king unless you were summoned or if the king extended the royal scepter.

Knowing that this was how the king operated, Mordecai wailed and mourned in sackcloth just outside the king's gate until he finally got Esther's attention.  Mordecai instructed Esther to go to the king with their plight and Esther explained that she could die if she did.  Mordecai reminded Esther that if she didn't, she would most definitely die.  Finally, Esther conceded and agreed to go before the king.  But she had one instruction first; all the Jews in Susa were to fast for Esther for three days while she and her attendants did the same.  Esther knew that she needed more than just chance to go before the king; she needed God.  Esther would need God to soften the heart of a selfish and self-absorbed king who really didn't want to hear the problems of other people.  And since she didn't know how she would start out on this scary venture; she fasted.

The great thing about our story is that we do have the chance to go before our king.  He isn't prideful and heartless; He wants us to come to Him with our troubles.  He listens and He cares.  In fact, He can turn our ashes into beauty and our mourning into joy, and He can replace our sackcloth into garments of praise (Isaiah 61:3).  Praise God that He cares and hears our cries!  He can give us hope when there is no hope, and He gives wisdom when we are staring at a blank page in our lives.  We all have times when we don't know what we are going to do, but God knows what He can do.  Esther went to the King of Kings to give her wisdom and strength.

Do you go to the King of Kings with your troubles?

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